From "Lutheran Satire."
Living in Light of Two Ages
My friends from Church of the Redeemer in Mesa, AZ., have posted the audio of my recent lectures on the doctrine of the Antichrist.
You can find them here: Lectures on "The Antichrist"
The Twenty-Fifth in A Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John
Jesus has returned to Jerusalem. The on-going conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders of Israel will now escalate. Speaking with the Father’s authority, Jesus proclaims that the people of Israel do not keep the law of Moses, and are sinners in need of a Savior. Already plotting to kill Jesus–because, ironically, the Jews consider Jesus to be a law-breaker–some of those opposing Jesus accuse him of being demon possessed. As the tension increases, the people of Israel are now forced to choose whether they will follow Jesus or reject him. From this point on in John’s Gospel, the messianic mission of Jesus will center in and around the city of Jerusalem, and the leaders of the Jews will keep plotting to kill him. All roads now lead to the cross and the empty tomb because this is the will of YHWH, and Jesus’ mission requires him to fulfill his Father’s will.
We are continuing our series on the Gospel of John, and we move into a new section of the Gospel, recounting those events which took place in Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles). These events take place about six months after Jesus gave the “bread of life” discourse in the synagogue in Capernaum (in the Galilee region). Chapters 7-10 of John, which record this so-called “conflict” phase of Jesus’ ministry, are characterized by an increasing tension between Jesus and the Jewish religious authorities in Jerusalem (the Sanhedrin). This tension stems from Jesus’ previous trip to Jerusalem (a year earlier), when Jesus healed an invalid on the Sabbath as recounted in John 5:18, where we read, “this was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill [Jesus], because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
Although the increasing tension between Jesus and the Jewish leaders occurs during Feast of Booths, the nature of the Feast itself does not enter into the dispute. But the celebration of the Feast does serve as the setting for the various disputes between Jesus and the Jews which are recounted in the next few chapters. This is not the final conflict between Jesus and the members of the Sanhedrin (that will come during the Passover a few months later), but the vast divide between Jesus and the Jewish leaders is now fully out in the open. Once this happens, the people are now forced to take sides. The differences over the meaning of the Sabbath, and Jesus’ claims to deity became clear in chapter five. New issues arise in chapters 7-10, specifically questions about Jesus’ relationship to Abraham, Jesus’ authority and his interpretation of the Old Testament (particularly the way Jesus places himself at the center of Israel’s history), and Jesus’ assertion that the religious leaders of Israel are actually in league with the devil.
Since we have much ground to cover today, let us turn to our text, verse 1 of chapter 7. “After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.” John does not specify how much time has elapsed since Jesus gave the “bread of life” discourse in Capernaum but since the Passover occurs in the spring and the Feast of Booths late in the Fall, it is safe to say that about six months have elapsed since the events of John 6. The synoptic Gospels devote much attention to this period in our Lord’s ministry in the Galilee, but John says nothing about it. According to John’s account, Jesus stayed in the Galilee region because the Jews in Jerusalem (the capitol of Judea) were threatening to kill him.
To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here
Sunday Morning (March 29): We will conclude our three-part series on the Epistle of Jude. This coming Lord's Day, we will be looking at Jude's "closing remarks" and doxology in vv. 17-25. Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Afternoon: The Rev. Chris Coleman is preaching on "The Law of God and Man's Misery" from the Heidelberg Catechism's Lord's Day 2 (Question and Answers 3-5). Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday Night Bible Study (March 25): We are continuing our "Run Through the Letters of Paul" and we in are Galatians 3:1-8, and continuing our consideration of Paul's doctrine of justification.
The Academy: The Academy will resume on Friday, April 17
Our next Academy series will be entitled "The Great and Holy War" and will be a lecture and discussion of the legacy of World War One, including the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine (Israel), the roots of ISIS (the end of the Caliphate/Ottoman Empire), the Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of Marxist-Leninism, along with a host of other contemporary geopolitical conundrums--all of which are part of the legacy of the Great War.
Here's a link to Philip Jenkin's book A Great and Holy War" which will serve as our primary text for this series. The Great and Holy War
For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website: Christ Reformed Church
The Gifts of the Spirit
Well, in this program we want to focus in on the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. What I’d like to do is start with Ephesians 4, because we’ve talked a little bit about the “Farewell Discourse,” John 14-16. [Jesus] will be gone, but it’s good because he’s going to send the Holy Spirit. And so, the ascension and Pentecost are very closely related.
The passage I want to begin with is Ephesians 4, where the Apostle Paul says, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
“Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ (In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.”
Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we look at the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit in the church and in believers. Click Here
This was on the Daily Show a while back.
Man of Sin: The Antichrist
The sixth Lloyd Jackson Lecture Series with Dr. Kim Riddlebarger. Free and open to the public.
- Friday, March 20
- 7:00 to 8:00 PM: Antichrist—Past, Present, or Future Foe? (An overview of the doctrine of the Antichrist)
- Saturday, March 21
- 9:30 to 10:30 AM: Antichrist as a Sign of the End (A survey of the signs of the end)
- 10:30 to 11:00 AM: Brunch
- 11:00 to 12:00 PM: The Two Beasts
- 12:00 to 12:30 PM: Q & A
- Sunday, March 22, 10:30 AM Worship Service: They Came to Life and Reigned with Christ
The Lectures will be based on my book, Man of Sin
For more information, Click Here -- Church of the Redeemer
If you live in the Mesa area, I would love to meet you!
The Twenty-Fourth in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John
When Jesus declared that he was “the living bread who came down from heaven,” many of those assembled in the synagogue in Capernaum began grumbling. When Jesus went on to say “truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you,” a heated argument broke out. After Jesus finished speaking, John says, many of those present complained about his hard sayings, and from that time on “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” There can be little doubt that Jesus is driving away the multitudes now following him through these difficult sayings which reveal his identity as the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah, as well as the true nature of his mission–which is not to attract a large number of followers and lead an insurrection against Rome, but to obey his Father’s will, even if that meant giving his flesh on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. This is why Bob Godfrey very aptly calls the “bread of life” discourse in John 6, “Jesus’ church shrinkage seminar.” When Jesus is finishing giving his “bread of life” discourse in the synagogue in Capernaum, many disciples walked away and no longer followed him.
We are continuing our series on the Gospel of John, and we wrap our time in John 6 and our study of Jesus’ “bread of life” discourse. We have looked at the setting for the sermon (Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5000, and Jesus walking across the Sea of Galilee), and we have considered the details of the discourse and the difficult sayings we find within it. We now consider the outcome of Jesus’ discourse–which is that many who had been following him, no longer did so. By this point in his messianic mission huge crowds were following him everywhere he went, but for all the wrong reasons. When Jesus fed the people in the wilderness they called him a prophet and wanted to make him king. Messianic expectations reached a fever pitch. But people quickly lose interest in Jesus whenever he reveals the true purpose of his mission.
The time had now come for Jesus to drive away the “looky loos” (the consumers) who are following him out of self-interest, and not because they are looking for someone who will deal with the guilt and power of sin. Given the usual image of Jesus–meek and mild–it can come as a bit of a shock we when consider that the Jesus who is revealed in the gospels is anything but meek and mild. His tender compassion and love for sinners is found throughout. But so is the disconcerting way Jesus speaks of himself (his claims to deity), and the way in which he dramatically confronts the religious leaders of his day with their self righteousness and misunderstanding of the Old Testament. In the “bread of life” discourse, Jesus says things which good Jewish boys would never say. Unless he is truly who he claims to be (the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah) then his words are positively revolutionary–even dangerous.
Before we consider the consequences of Jesus’ “bread of life” discourse (vv. 60-71), it is important to set out a brief outline of those events recorded in John 6 which took place in the Galilee region about the time of the Jewish Passover (the second during Jesus’ public ministry). What actually happened in the twenty-fours hours before and during the time Jesus gave this discourse? Why does Jesus get such a negative reaction from those who heard him in the synagogue? To answer these questions and to understand our text, we will briefly review these events in summary form.
To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here